11/22/2018

European Commission publishes a practical guide for small retail sector

A recently by the European Commission published guide provides
ideas and practical suggestions on how to tailor revitalisation and modernisation
initiatives to support the small retailers in local areas. Each solution is
underpinned by real-life examples (success stories), gathered from best
practices across Europe, which can be transferred to your local setting - as
well as top tips to consider.

The authors describe at the beginning why this guide has been produced: "The
vast majority of retailers in Europe are small or very small. A thriving small
retail sector is essential for keeping European town and city centres vital and
retaining a healthy retail sector in rural areas. Small retailers are an
important source of employment and economic activity. They also strengthen
communities and bring proximity, approachability and personalised services to
customers.

However, small retailers have been facing an increasing number of challenges
over the last few decades, largely due to dramatic changes in buying and
selling habits. The retail sector has experienced a widespread move from small,
generalist stores to large stores, which has increased the need for local shop
owners to be competitive on price. More recently, they face the digital
revolution. Technology is not always easily embraced by small retailers, which
are often small, family-owned businesses. This is not surprising, given that
small shop owners generally have less expendable resources than larger stores,
less knowledge and less capacity to design and implement structural changes
quickly. The potential negative consequences of making mistakes are much higher
and more costly for them. Given the sheer umber of these small retailers in
Europe, and the important role they play in the retail sector, it has never
been more important to help them to overcome these limitations and embrace
change."

This recently published guide is primarily targeted at local authorities. It
has been designed to help them support their local small retailers to modernise
and revitalise. Regional and national authorities - as well as independent
private organisations or sector associations - can also support the initiatives
and are likely to find inspiration in the solutions presented.

More Information


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